ICE has more than 20,000 employees, spread across 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries, and the Trump administration has called for the hiring of 10,000 more. ICE officers see themselves as protecting the country and enforcing its laws, but also, several agents said, defending the legal immigration system, with its yearslong waits to enter the country, from people who skip the line.Snicker. This is why, I suspect, the comments are more politically-motivated than they are based in reality. Like this:
Gone are the Obama-era rules that required them to focus only on serious criminals. In Southern California, in one of the first major roundups during the Trump administration, officers detained 161 people with a wide range of felony and misdemeanor convictions, and 10 who had no criminal history at all.“Before, we used to be told, ‘You can’t arrest those people,’ and we’d be disciplined for being insubordinate if we did,” said a 10-year veteran of the agency who took part in the operation. “Now those people are priorities again. And there are a lot of them here.”Interviews with 17 agents and officials across the country, including in Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, Washington and California, demonstrated how quickly a new atmosphere in the agency had taken hold. Since they are forbidden to talk to the press, they requested anonymity out of concern for losing their jobs.
Which is nonsense. From my contacts in ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and DHS, I can tell you almost nothing has changed. During the Obama administration, more than 400,000 undocumented persons were arrested and deported every year...that's every single year x 8 years = 3.2 million people. Basically, they were averaging 7,692 arrests every week, which makes this breathless headline from a few weeks ago regarding 600 arrests almost laughable.“Morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of the orders,” the unions representing ICE and Border Patrol agents said in a joint statement after President Trump issued the executive orders on immigration late last month.Two memos released this past week by the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of ICE and the Border Patrol, provided more details about how it would carry out its plan, which includes Mr. Trump’s signature campaign pledge — a wall along the entire southern border — as well as speedier deportations and greater reliance on local police officers.But for those with ICE badges, perhaps the biggest change was the erasing of the Obama administration’s hierarchy of priorities, which forced agents to concentrate on deporting gang members and other violent and serious criminals, and mostly leave everyone else alone.
Again, what you're seeing here is certain people within ICE and DHS (agents afraid to go on record, unions and their shills who thrive on more federal welfare, er funding, heading their way) politicizing an issue in favor of the current administration. When you talk to rank and file (read: non-politicized agents and bureaucrats within said agencies) they'll tell you not only has nothing changed, but in many ways they are in a holding pattern regarding how long the current administration will be in power.
Always be suspicious of the political motivations behind these kinds of stories. This has more to do with partisanship and an administration circling the drain than it does law enforcement reality. And in many ways, it denigrates the men and women in ICE who are apolitical or, in fact, stand against the current regime.